Press Releases

Wakefield HS Senior Kidus Sebil’s Picture “Half A Man” To Display In U.S. Capitol After Winning VA-8 Congressional Art Competition

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today announced that Wakefield High School senior Kidus Sebil has won the Congressional Art Competition in Virginia’s 8th District. A panel of art educators from the National Art Education Association chose Sebil’s photograph “Half A Man” from dozens of works by Northern Virginia student artists, and Beyer notified Sebil in a congratulatory phone call.

Sebil wrote, of his picture: “This photo is of a boy whose face is partially covered by a tree. The title is ‘Half a Man’ because being an African American male in America can often feel like you're worth only half that of a white man. I converted this photo into black and white to highlight the details of the photo as well as symbolize the black and white division of this country.”

“Kidus Sebil’s arresting photograph ‘Half A Man’ speaks powerfully to this moment,” said Beyer. “At a time when so many are decrying the painfully slow pace of progress towards equality, justice, and the rejection of racism, this picture is powerful and moving. I hope ‘Half A Man’ will cause my fellow Members of Congress to reflect upon those themes, and in times to come when the U.S. Capitol is again able to receive visitors, I believe those who pass this image will be moved by it. I thank Kidus for submitting this work of art, and congratulate him and the other young artists who competed in the Congressional Art Competition.”

The Congressional Institute and Architect of the Capitol are still in the process of evaluating the timeline and logistics for art display in the Cannon Tunnel as staff maintain a reduced presence during the COVID-19 pandemic.